Islington man sentenced for spitting in Jeremy Corbyn's face

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image copyrightPA Media
image captionJeremy Corbyn and his wife will receive a total of £250 in compensation

A man who spat in the face of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during the first lockdown has been sentenced.

The Islington North MP and his wife Laura Alvarez were attacked and verbally abused by Gerald Dore as they cycled near their north London home.

Dore, 56, from Islington, admitted a charge of assault by beating and a public order offence when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

He was given an 18-month community order, with 80 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard that Mr Corbyn and Ms Alvarez had been on a bike ride on 20 May when they saw Dore trying to cross the road near the junction of Seven Sisters Road.

The MP made a gesture towards the 56-year-old to let him know he could cross but Dore responded by swearing at him.

When Mr Corbyn told him there was "no need to use that language", the defendant "began shouting and swearing aggressively" before spitting in the former Labour leader's face and threatening his wife, magistrates were told.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionDore told the court the attack had not been motivated by Mr Corbyn's politics

Prosecutor Matt Barrowcliffe read a statement from Mr Corbyn in which the politician said he was "alarmed and distressed by the aggressive behaviour towards me, in particular spitting in my face".

Representing himself, Dore said he did not know who Mr Corbyn was and the attack had not been motivated by his politics.

"I didn't dislike him, he was just in my way and I was trying to get home," he said, adding that he "might have sprayed him".

image captionDore also swore at and threatened Mr Corbyn's wife Laura Alvarez

Dore admitted one count of assault by beating against Mr Corbyn and a second charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence.

Sentencing the former plumber, District Judge Adrian Turner said: "To spit at someone is gross in any circumstance but to do so at a time when the infections were running very high was very serious indeed."

Dore was ordered to pay compensation of £150 to Mr Corbyn and £100 to Ms Alvarez.

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